Morning must reads for Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 123rd day of the year. There are 242 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 104th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Jason Chaffetz’s poll numbers haven’t improved much. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will visit Utah next week. Republicans still can’t get everybody on board about repealing Obamacare.

The clock:

  • 17 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)

  • 45 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 188 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)

  • 264 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 309 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 552 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,280 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL #1: What issue do 3rd District voters want their member of Congress to tackle now that Rep. Jason Chaffetz is stepping down? The answer that came up most was education/schools. Those same voters are equally split over their view of President Donald Trump, which means any potential replacement for Chaffetz should probably be careful about cozying up to the president’s agenda [Utah Policy].
  • NEW POLL #2: Rep. Jason Chaffetz‘s favorability ratings haven’t moved much in either direction since he announced he was not running for re-election in 2018 [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb argues if Chaffetz steps down early, existing election law should be followed in a special election to pick his replacement [Utah Policy].
  • The rift between legislative leaders and Gov. Gary Herbert over how to conduct a special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz if he resigns early is growing [Deseret News].
  • Utah officials tell members of Congress that national monument designations in the state are damaging to the local economy surrounding the protected areas [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to visit Utah to tour Bears Ears and Grand Staircase next week [Deseret News].
  • Congressional Republicans still don’t have enough votes to pass their legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump suggests that shutting down the government and killing the Senate filibuster would be a way to get Congress to pass his budget priorities [Wall Street Journal].
  • Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates will testify before Congress next week that she gave a “forceful warning” to the White House about former national security adviser Michael Flynn three weeks before he was fired [CNN].
  • Hillary Clinton took some responsibility for her 2016 loss to Donald Trump, but still cast plenty of blame on FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference in the election [Washington Post].
  • CNN refused to air a self-congratulatory ad produced by President Donald Trump‘s campaign arm praising his first 100 days in office because the ad labeled CNN as “fake news” [Washington Post].
  • Boring but important. The NSA still collected 151 records about Americans’ phone calls last year, which is a massive reduction from previous information the agency gathered [New York Times].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch unveils legislation to strengthen protections for those exercising their religious beliefs [Deseret News].
  • Utah Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham announces she will retire from the bench in November after serving 35 years in that position [Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski unveils her proposed budget for next year which includes more money for homeless services and a hike in sewer and water rates [Deseret News, Tribune]. 
  • The Salt Lake County Council approves a plan to move some inmates to other facilities to free up jail space [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Rep. Keith Grover wants more information about the relationship between the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah following the turmoil that led to two high-profile resignations at the school [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1802 – Washington, D.C., was incorporated.
  • 1913 – The California Alien Land Law of 1913 (Webb-Haney Act) passed the California state Senate, ignoring the demands of Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan. The bill forbid immigrants, not eligible for citizenship, from owning any land for agricultural or gardening purposes.
  • 1921 – West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax.
  • 1948 – The Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.
  • 1979 – Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections.
  • 1988 – The White House acknowledged that first lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule President Ronald Reagan’s activities.